Homemade Basic Vinaigrette Dressing

I love making homemade dressings and it truly takes so little time. It is always funny how impressed people are about something that takes two minutes to whip up in the kitchen. The taste transformation that it has in your mouth though is considerable and worth those two minutes of effort.

I had to run a meal to a friend and wanted to bring her a side salad to accompany the dinner. I thought this thrifted sugar canister would be cute to put the dressing in and also make it easier to pour on her salad. I will say that you want to have an extra tight grip on the pour spout when shaking and it might not be ideal for transporting, but it certainly did look cute tied with some gingham ribbon.

Basic Vinaigrette (courtesy of, “How to Cook Everything“)

1/4 cup good vinegar (you can use sherry, balsamic, red, or white wine vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced shallots (optional & I leave these out)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Briefly mix the vinegar, salt, and optional mustard with an immersion blender, food processor or blender, or with a fork or wire whisk. Slowly add the oil in a stream (drop by drop if whisking) until an emulsion forms or just whisk everything together briefly. Add the remaining oil faster, but still in a stream. Taste to adjust salt and add more oil or viengar if needed. Add the shallots and pepper. This is best made fresh, but will keep, refrigerated for a few days; bring back to room temperature before using.

To make a small amount of Basic Vinaigrette: Combine 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon mustard, 3 to 4 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon minced shallots as above. Add pepper, then taste and add more vinegar, salt, or oil as necessary.

Published July 13, 2009 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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